Yet another reason to love Nigella Lawson: her express meals apparently really can be made in a reasonable amount of time. What a concept!? After watching the first episode of Nigella Express on the Food Network I added her recipe for Roast Cornish Hen with Sweet Potatoes to my “to do” list so I’d remember to add any ingredients I’d need to my PeaPod order. Unfortunately when the PeaPod delivery person appeared he did so without my hens. They were all sold out. I assume that means all of the housewives in Cambridge must have had the same idea as me. I ended up setting the recipe aside for a few weeks until I happened to stumble upon some frozen Cornish Hens at Trader Joe’s. Eureka! My recipe attempt was back on.
The prep was ridiculously easy, essentially consisting of chopping potatoes, tossing everything together and popping it in the oven. So if you’re looking for a fast week night dinner that requires very minimal effort I’d definitely suggest this. I think next time I’ll actually rub cinnamon and cumin onto the hens as well before roasting them. I vaguely recall Nigella doing this in the actual episode, but the recipe didn’t mention anything about it. I hate it when the episode instructions and the actual recipes on Food Network don’t match up.
Please note that the images below are of a doubled version of the recipe. In addition, I also cooked everything together (not in seperate dishes) so the juices from the chicken would enhance the flavor of the potatoes.
Spice, Citrus, and Oil
Chop the Potatoes
Dinner in a Flash
Roast Poussin/Cornish Hen and Sweet Potatoes (Originally Published by Nigella Lawson)
2 poussins/Cornish hens
2 tablespoons garlic or wok oil, divided
1 sweet potato weighing approximately 1 pound
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Maldon or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Good squirt lime juice
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the birds into a small baking tin or foil tray pouring over 1 tablespoon of oil.
Cut the sweet potatoes into 2 1/2-inch cubes and put them into another smallish tin or foil tray.
Pour over the other tablespoon of oil and sprinkle over the spices, and then toss everything together by shaking the tin.
Cook both the poussins/hens and sweet potatoes in the preheated hot oven for 45 minutes.